US government to tighten Visa Waiver Program

World Today

The Visa Waiver Program in the U.S. that allows visitors from 38 countries to enter the United States is under scrutiny in Washington. U.S. Lawmakers are moving to tighten the program and impose new restrictions.

CCTV’s Nitza Soledad Perez reports from Miami.

US government to tighten Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Waiver Program in the U.S. that allows visitors from 38 countries to enter the United States is under scrutiny in Washington. U.S. Lawmakers are moving to tighten the program and impose new restrictions. CCTV’s Nitza Soledad Perez reports from Miami.

Tourists, as well as the hospitality industry, are closely watching how the changes might develop.

ESTA is the Electronic System for Travel Authorization and is an online application which visitors from approved countries must complete and pay and administrative fee for before travel to the U.S.

If Congress passes proposed restrictions to the program, people looking to visit the U.S. from approved nations, who have also traveled to Syria, Iraq, Iran or Sudan in the past five years, will be blocked from the waiver option and will instead need to apply for a visa to enter the U.S.

This could also complicate travel for Americans if other nations respond with similar restrictions. Both political parties in the U.S. Congress and U.S. President Obama are all on record in support of the new proposed provisions. They argue these changes will improve security.

Final approval is expected in a matter of days.